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Attorney-client confidentiality is a legal principle that ensures that certain information a client shares with their attorney remains confidential. It’s not just about trust, but is actually a legal obligation that your Louisiana personal injury lawyer must uphold when they take on your case.

Knowing what’s covered by confidentiality rules can ensure you feel comfortable sharing relevant information about your case that can help your lawyer seek fair compensation for your injuries.

What Is Attorney-Client Confidentiality?

Attorney-client confidentiality ensures that certain discussions between a client and their attorney remain private. This means that privileged information that you share with your lawyer stays between you unless you permit them to disclose it.

This lets you be open with your legal team and ensures attorneys have the information necessary to protect and represent your rights.

For example, after a car crash, you might need to tell your attorney about your injuries and how they’ve impacted your personal life or mental well-being. The assurance that these personal insights remain confidential fosters a deeper trust and a more productive partnership with your lawyer.

However, it is also important to keep in mind that attorney-client confidentiality only applies once an attorney-client relationship is established! Don’t assume what you say is protected until the attorney assures you that it is.

What Is Protected Under Attorney-Client Confidentiality?

You may wonder what you can safely discuss if you’re considering working with an attorney for your personal injury claim. Here’s what you need to know about what’s typically covered under attorney-client privilege:

Privileged communications

The private conversations you have with your lawyer are at the heart of the attorney-client relationship. For example, if you’re discussing the details of a motorcycle accident, like the conditions of the road, your actions, or those of the other party, the discussions are protected under this privilege.

This legal protection encourages clients to be open and honest, ensuring their attorney has all the information they need to advocate effectively.

Various forms of communication are considered privileged. These include private conversations, written communication, and electronic exchanges that are intended to be confidential. For instance, emails and texts sent between you and your attorney discussing your case would fall under this protection. However, if other people are copied on the email, it might not be considered a privileged communication anymore.

Exemptions

While most conversations with an attorney are confidential, there are some exemptions. For instance, during a medical malpractice discussion, these revelations may not be protected if you disclose intentions to commit fraud or deceive the court.

These exemptions balance the individual’s right to legal counsel with the broader interest of justice and public safety.

Limitations

There are also boundaries on how and when the privilege applies. For example, if you are discussing a dog bite incident with your lawyer while on the phone in a public cafe, you don’t take measures to keep the conversation private, and someone overhears, that conversation might not be privileged.

Limitations may also apply if you speak with your attorney with a third party present, for instance, a friend who sits in for emotional support. Friends are not held by confidentiality, which means they can share the information you discuss.

The duration of protection

Protection granted by attorney-client privilege is long-lasting and isn’t usually bound by time. So, whether you discussed a surgical injury last year or ten years ago, that information remains protected.

Unless you decide otherwise, this protection remains in place. The choice to uphold or forgo this privilege lies with you, giving you authority over your confidential details.

Why is this Protection Important in a Personal Injury Case?

Client-attorney privilege has major implications for legal and ethical considerations in personal injury cases. Legally, it enables you to speak freely and honestly with your attorneys, which is vital for building a strong case to receive fair compensation.

Ethically, it binds attorneys to a code of professional responsibility. This ensures they act in your best interests while maintaining the confidentiality of the information shared.

Our attorneys at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers consider client confidentiality a non-negotiable standard of practice, showcasing our integrity and commitment to protecting our clients’ rights.

Get a Free, Confidential Case Review with Dudley DeBosier

If you were hurt in a personal injury accident, like a car collision, workplace accident, or slip and fall incident, speak to an experienced attorney with Dudley DeBosier in a free, confidential consultation.

Information shared during your case review with one of our attorneys is protected by attorney-client privileges, so don’t hesitate to contact us today. We can help you start a claim and get the settlement you deserve.

Disclaimer: This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.

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